When they make the first approach to join - the door is opened a little and then pushed open a bit more with each of the craft degrees.
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed."
I have read in some lodges the neophyte knocks on the door - for the esoteric reason of "Knocking" The reasoning I can see.. On the other hand we are taught that only the Tyler may touch the outside if the door
Eastern order of International Co-Freemasonry
Auckland New Zealand
"All Truths are Truths of Period
and not truths for eternity."
It is no doubt diffferent in the more "Spiritual" atmosphere of Co-masonry but I would say in an UGLE Lodge that it is when the door is knocked with the blindfolded Candidate outside, usually by the Tyler, sometimes by the Candidate's hand guided by him. After all a Candidate could change his mind after filling out the forms or being interviewed by the Lodge Committee and could even after that be Blackballed in Open Lodge by the Ballot.
The other question is when is he REALLY made a Mason? I'd say when he has finished his Obligation and is told by the WM, "Rise newly Obligated Brother....". Up till then he could be led back out of the Lodge still blindfolded if he baulked at Swearing the Obligation. (I have never seen this happen- has anyone?).
There is a parallel in Christianity where the concept of "Baptism by Desire" exists. Normally a person is Christened either as a child or later in life by a Priest or Minister pouring water , or by immersion in the case of Baptists, but it is held that if someone wished to become a Christian but was unable to do so in their life, parhaps living under a dictatorship where this was forbidden, their desire was enough to in effect Baptise them. A bit difficult to prove, but I can see the similarity.
To me the phrase is a metaphor when applied to masonry as it indeed is when used in any situation.
The knock is the enquiry about masonry, the opening door is our warm and welcoming response (hopefully) and deciding to join is entering the room.
It epitomises the phrase "to be one, ask one".
Bill Trinity Lodge, No. 254 (UGLE) We've toasted the Queen and Officers a score; We shall toast them again as we've toasted them before, But still there is left us a Good Toast more, And it's - "Trinity! Trinity! 254!!!"
I have chosen the first option as it is closest to when I percieve this occurs. For me the Knock is at the first glimpse of an Idea that there is a spiritual force/option available. This is followed by a growing awareness that there is more to discover, AND the journey HAS begun.
All of the above occurs in ones "higher" states, he body being simply the "tool" that experiences the event.
For myself I consciously knocked at the door when one day I was so broken by life, lost and confused, and I began to do serious internal work to try to find the meaning of life. And this door did open. A lonely and difficult journey at times but a very worthwhile one. And for me I will keep knocking at each set of doors that I come across. For there are most definately more than one.
The door is opened when the WM says the tyler to do so. First of all, the neophyte knocks the door as the outer guard tells him to do so. Then there is some conversation if the neophyte is of good report and so on. Everything is reported to the WM. And the WM decides wether the door has to be opend or not. I voted "other" then.